The grim figures don't spell certain doom for incumbents, however. Americans traditionally have very low approval assessments of Congress as a whole, according to Gallup, which conducted the poll.
While only 21 percent of American adults approved of the job Congress is doing — as opposed to 73 percent who disapprove — that isn't so far out of the norm. In fact, 21 percent approval nears the upper range of what we've seen over recent years.
Since 2012, the number of Americans who approve of Congress' performance hasn't reached heights greater than 28 percent and has seen lows as abysmal as 9 percent.
The past three elections, however, have seen incumbent members of the Senate and House of Representatives re-secure their seats at rates around 90 percent or greater. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, representatives kept their positions at rates of 90 percent in 2012, 95 percent in 2014 and 97 percent in 2016. For the Senate, those numbers were 91 percent in 2012, 82 percent in 2014 and 93 percent in 2016.
Gallup's poll was conducted as Congress was holding hearings to confirm US President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — which it eventually did. Polling conducted before and after the matter was settled yielded similar results, however, indicating that few Americans changed their minds about their elected representatives during the fiery back-and-forth amid allegations that Kavanaugh had a history of sexual abuse.
Democrats will need to unseat 23 Republicans in order to gain a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and best two Senators in order to achieve a majority there.